MINUSMA is a strategic priority [fr]
Mali, MINUSMA - Explanation of vote by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 29 June 2016
I would like to begin by extending France’s condolences to and solidarity with Turkey after the terrible attack that took place in Istanbul yesterday, which we vigorously condemn.
By adopting resolution 2295 (2016) today, the Security Council has decided to move in two major directions. First, the Security Council requests the Malian Government and the signatory armed groups to accelerate the practical implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. The Government and the signatory armed groups are now engaged in a race against time against the terrorists who want to derail the peace process. The signatory parties have a historical responsibility to come to an agreement to finally provide the people, especially in the north, with the dividends of peace. Through resolution 2295 (2016), the Security Council has set a strategic priority for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) of supporting the implementation of the Peace Agreement, especially the restoration of State authority throughout the entire territory of Mali.
The Security Council strengthens MINUSMA to enable it to adapt to its unique security environment. The Security Council has heard the urgent request made by the Malian President and the Heads of State of West African States, whose soldiers are risking their lives as peacekeepers in Mali. MINUSMA is addressing the threat of terrorist groups. This is an exceptional environment for a United Nations peacekeeping operation, and we are aware of that. In that regard, I reiterate our condolences for all those who have given their lives in their commitment to MINUSMA.
Through resolution 2295 (2016), we have decided to provide MINUSMA with all means necessary to enable it to adapt to this environment. The protection of civilians and the safety of the peacekeepers in Mali is our top priority. More specifically, the Security Council is strengthening MINUSMA on two levels. First of all, with respect to the means at its disposal, we have decided to deploy 2,500 additional troops and police within MINUSMA. This major increase in the force will make it possible to deploy specialized European military units. The Security Council also asks for a reinforcement of MINUSMA’s contingent-owned equipment, including medical evacuation helicopters, drones and armoured vehicles. It is crucial that countries with those capabilities respond to that appeal. With regard to its mandate, through resolution 2295 (2016) the Security Council has given MINUSMA the most robust mandate possible in a terrorist environment. It authorizes MINUSMA to use all necessary means to prevent and counter asymmetric threats to civilians and peacekeepers themselves.
By adopting resolution 2295 (2016), the Security Council is fully exercising its responsibility for international peace and security. The Security Council is assuming its responsibility by reminding the people of Mali that it stands alongside them on the path to peace. The Security Council has supported Mali, whose very existence was threatened, since the beginning of the crisis in 2012. It will continue to do so until the Malians can permanently live in peace.
The Security Council has assumed its responsibility by giving the peacekeepers all the means to fulfil their noble and essential mission under the most difficult conditions. Thanks to MINUSMA, the Security Council has helped peacekeeping to evolve on the ground. France has an ambition and hope for the United Nations — France wants the United Nations to protect civilians wherever they are threatened.